Monday, January 12, 2009

Operation Rent-a-Sweater

So, there's a dress code in my school. The dress code is new within the past 5 years and the students are still angry that they can't wear their everyday clothes to school. I mean really, really angry. Just bringing up the topic of the dress code is enough to lose control of the class as they all start decrying any attempt to control the way that they dress. The students try to get the teachers on their side by providing examples of such wonderful logic as "it's against the constitution... no really!" "it limits our freedom and self-expression" and my favorite "we're too poor to buy these new school uniforms."

As some background, yes, greater than 95% of my students have free or reduced student lunch. Yes, many of them have horror stories about their lives that make my hair want to curl. Yes, I hear about kids having to work jobs to help pay rent, no food in the fridge for weeks due to money issues, and some of my students have never seen a doctor or dentist because they don't have insurance and the free clinic is on the other side of town. However, almost all of them have cell phones and unlimited texting, and an almost unlimited supply of cheetos, soda, candy bars, and energy drinks in my class. Some students bring in a jumbo bag of cheetos and two sodas per class but say they don't have money for lunch. This will lead into a later rant on this blog entitled: "They don't need Earth Space Science or Math, they need to learn how to budget."

Anyway, enough of that. The point of all of this is that my school doesn't allow the students to wear hoodies inside the school. This is a major fashion faux-pas, as greater than 75% of my students try to sneak them past me every day. I hate dealing with this because the school is cold. The students want to wear their hoodies to keep warm. I don't see a problem with that, but I need to uphoad the school rules. Thus, I have found a way around it.

To every student that I tell to lose the hoody and they respond with "but it's soooo cold in here," I can respond with "rent a sweater for the day."

I went to Goodwill and picked up a bunch of sweaters of varying sizes that are all school colors. I have them in the corner of my room and the students can rent them for a quarter per period. Problem solved. I am planning on the rent-a-scarf, rent-a-blanet, and rent-a-book program. Many of my students lose their textbooks and ask to borrow my teacher edition to do their homework. A few copies of the textbook with the covers painted neon pink, green, and orange should solve that problem.

That, and I'm totally going to hell because I will never have to worry about laundry money again. I call that a win-win.


  1. "Rent a sweater" is genius.

    And, yes, it always amazed me that some people would have a brand new tv and were still about to be evicted. But, someone explained it to me in terms of immediate satisfaction versus the nigh nourished skill of thinking ahead and for the greater good.

    Carly, came over via LJ. :)

  2. I love you for pointing all that out!

    And that's a great idea to bring in sweaters to keep the kids warm. :)

  3. Ahahaha. I let mine borrow my sweatshirt or sweater occasionally. It's funny to see which ones are like "really?! THANKS!" and which ones are like "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww teacher germs!!!"

    My students aren't so bad about books, but they will insist on not showing up with pencils or paper. They were SO SO SAD when I started stocking these things at the front of the classroom. Ha.

    When I have to hand out extra copies of worksheets or handouts, though, I charge them two points off their participation grade. I'm lucky that enough of them care about their grades enough that they HATE that, and it's working remarkably well...

  4. This board is giving me a new insight as to how manipulated I have been...had no idea you teacher types were so sneaky.